Genealogy is journey and an evolution. The further we go along the path of discovering our ancestors, the better our skills become. (Hopefully!) We learn about more types of sources and we evaluate better. Unfortunately, it seems that we apply our new-found skills to the ancestors we are currently working on. How often do we go back and look at the ancestors we researched in the “early days” of climbing the family tree?
That’s what I just did with my 4th-great-grandfather John Hibbs. Ouch. Turns out that most of the facts I “know” about him come from a county history biography of his son Elmus, a handful of handwritten census abstracts, and a photocopy of a marriage record. Not exactly the stuff of thorough research.
What I Think I Know About John Hibbs (Subject to Revision)
- Born 17 Aug 1805
- Married Jane Amos, daughter of Stephen Amos, deceased, 31 March 1825 in Monongalia County, Virginia
- Married Mrs. Rebecca (Brumage) Ice
- Married Margaret, daughter of Oliver Nay
- Lived in Marion County, West Virginia in 1870 and 1880
- Died 5 June 1886
- Was the father of Martha, wife of Philip Mason
- Photocopy of the marriage bond of John Hibbs and Jacob Hibbs, Jr. for John’s marriage to Jane Amos, 25 March 1825. Source unknown. (Judging from the way it was folded, I think I got this in the mail. Yeah, that’s a great source.)
- Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Monongalia, Marion and Taylor Counties, West Virginia (Philadelphia: Rush, West, & Co., 1895), p. 204.
- Handwritten abstract of 1870 census for John Hibbs household, Paw Paw District, Marion County, West Virginia, dwelling 212, family 213.
- Printed abstract of 1880 census for E. H. Hibbs household, Pawpaw, Marion County, West Virginia. John Hibbs listed as “other” relation. [For you old-timers out there, this was a printout from the old FamilySearch 1880 CDs. Remember those?!]
- Random family group sheets from Thomas Hess, dated 1993.
I really need to revisit John Hibbs.
Here is a link to a transcribed record from the clerk of the county court of Monongalia County, WV, for John “Hills” and Jane Amos, married 31 March 1825: http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view.aspx?Id=11330481&Type=Marriage
The source is the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, which maintains an online source for many county records in our state.
Thanks! Great minds think alike — I grabbed that same record right after I published the blog. Would like to go after the original marriage record if it still exists.
Excellent post Amy! I think everyone can learn from this one, as we were all beginners once. And that’s not to say anything in regards to beginners, just that every ancestor deserves to be revisited as our skills and knowledge improve in this genealogical journey.
Thanks, Jodi! It is pretty amazing to go back to a file that you last touched when you were a budding genealogist. All the clues that were missed, the sources that were overlooked, the censuses that were skipped… !
What a great reminder! This 52 Ancestors series is inspiring so many helpful ideas.
Amy, if you are a descendant of Martha (Hibbs) Martin we are cousins. I am a descendant of Stephen Amos’ brother Henry, their father also a Henry. I have appreciable material on the Amos’ plus some on the Brumages and Nays (some of my cousins married some Brumages and Nays).
Yes the original marriage records still exist in Monongalia, Marion and Harrison Counties, WV in their respective County Clerks’ offices. The Harrison County Marriage Bonds also survive and are uploaded to the WV Archives site except for Vol. 1. They do not like to copy the 2-page spreads of most of the marriage records, but a polite request stating that you do not want a certificate might get results first time around. For me, it took four times ’round (by mail) for one particular record.
The Monongalia County Marriage Bonds have not been digitized and are not available at the WV Archives’ site.
Stephen Amos died testate, his will uploaded among Monongalia County wills at familysearch.org in Monongalia Co. WV WB 1:12. His father Henry died testate also, but the FS upload skipped the page it’s on (WB 1:101).
The father Henry married twice in Monongalia County but had no known children by these wives. The identities of the probably two wives who were mothers of his children are unknown to me, although there is much myth in sundry trees.
Look for “Ice” rendered as “Lee” in the WVArch marriage index.
My cousins hardly crossed paths with Hibbs’, so I have little concerning them.
Marion County was set off in 1842 from parts of Monongalia and Harrison counties. In 1845 the Marion County Clerk made a list of lands that had come from various parts of both parent counties. In his list a John Hibbs as of 1842 had 105 acres on Robinsons Run set off from Monongalia to Marion County.
You will want to find a copy of D. J. Lake & Company’s 1886 Atlas of Monongalia and Marion Counties and copy the Marion County parts. It is a “land ownership” map and you will find it very useful.
If I can be of assistance, get in touch.
Oops, that was supposed to read “Martha (Hibbs) Mason.”
BTW that typescript of Monongalia Co., WV Marriages is identified in the Clerk’s office as Marriage Book A. But the original Marriage Book 1 has been laminated (gack) and returned to public access, so you can get copies from it. It has not been uploaded to the WVArchive site.
Hi, Cousin! Thank you so much for the response! I think that the marriage bond that I have was photocopied from the county clerk’s records. It was folded up in thirds, like it would fit in an envelope. I don’t fold my photocopies that way and I corresponded with a HIBBS researcher back in the day when we mailed – gasp! – photocopies instead of sending as email attachments 😉
I have a bit on the HIBBS and AMOS families. But, as I said in the post, it’s been so long since I’ve looked at them. I really need to review what I have and what I still need to find.
You were probably lucky enough to get a photocopy of the original Marriage Bond. They are loose papers, probably at one time folded so as to fit in those ammo-box-sized metal file drawers, which are in the basement of the Courthouse and at least until recently still held precious post-1854 Court papers, etc. The versions of the Marriage Bonds now available to the public are photocopies mounted in a series of 2-cover binders arranged alphabetically by groom’s name. A lot of the loose-paper records have now been moved to a repository in PA, so it’s hard to arrange transport to where you can look at them, and hard to know what exists without being able to rummage.
The pre-1855 loose court papers are archived at the WVU Library. Many are quite fragile and not available as originals for seeker to look at. But they have been microfilmed, the films available there. There is an every-name index on thin slips of paper in library-catalog type drawers, which staff will fetch for you. Melba Pender Zinn’s abstracts of the papers are invaluable, although except for one volume the indexes are surname-only.
The time-span divide coincides with implementation of the Circuit Court system in Monongalia County. If you go to the courthouse in Morgantown, the Circuit Court offices are upstairs. The County Clerk’s office on the 1st floor (but down the stairs) holds the original County Court of Common Pleas Minutes Books and original District Court records books as well as vital records and deeds in 3 series and estate records books (with which there are some issues). The estate files themselves are with the two groups of court papers mentioned above.
Amy and Jade, Thank you for these gleanings! I’m a Hibbs family researcher; I descend from William Hibbs (b. 1750s; d. 1828) and his wife Margaret. I have an online copy of William’s will (1828, Monongalia Co., WV), but I’m hoping to find more in tax and land records. I plan a trip to the WVU library to try to fill my sparse records concerning his son, Samuel Hibbs (b. about1793, Greene Co., PA). I’m trying to provide some substance to Samuel and his wife Rebecca Smith. Certain Hibbs family branches are well-known, while others (Samuel), seem to have evaporated in the mists of time!
Virginia (Treacy) Burke